Written and Illustrated by Sorina Vazelina Full Colour – Published by Centrala Books
Something is crawling in to my brain, something colourful and crazy. This is an anthology of work by Sorina Vazelina and published by Centrala books in the United Kingdom.
Beware. I intend to use drugs references throughout!
The book starts off as an examination of growing old and the eccentricities of the world. It has that quality of a codeine-ingested Terry Gilliam animation – you know, the ones where it really seemed like he was losing his mind. The comic has an abstract yet ever-changing and evolving feel to its pages.
The world around the eye of the reader shifts throughout and we are exposed and drenched in the different lysergic styles used by the creator. The world in this book references moments that are real events and historical interpretations as well as absurdist and fractured dream like sequences. It’s like a narrative that is written on an LSD soaked blotter, nightmarishly imaginative.
“In recent years the memory shows signs of of rapid deterioration, thus becoming the shredding machine of our neuronal landscape”
Not at any singular point did I understand what on earth was happening in this comic (and neither should I). It is a speculative dive in to the nature of the self in all its different incarnations. The idea of a distant concept is just the beginning of the life of this anthology. It is a book that straddles many styles and approaches to communicating ideas and stories. Some moments appear like sketchbook watercolours and others like clean and intellectual New Yorker Magazine cartoons. The personality on display changes from story to story but retains that experimental edge throughout.
One of my favourite strips describes the peculiar moments of silence experienced by strangers on a train. Sitting close to each other, crammed in to seats but never communicating.
Sorina Vazelina – described on one web site as “a sort of illustrator, cartoonist and graphic designer, with pretzels for brains” – is a chameleon of style and storytelling at a young age, as an original voice that you are likely to read this year an brought to you by a company that brings the best of European art comics to the UK. I read this book over breakfast and somehow suspect that the rest of my day won’t match up. Scattershot absurdist genius!
If I had to find one small problem it would be that the rather subdued cover doesn’t live up to the eye-f*** inside the book. I have purposely left this aforementioned cover out of this review. Ignore it and enjoy the interiors would be my advice.
This is like an amphetamine edged hallucination. It’ll gloriously drag you through a crowd of crazy faced strangers cackling at your freakish features! Watch out for this creator.
Old Farts is due to be released from Centrala this Autumn. I was lucky enough to see a preview copy.
• Sorina Vazelina is a full-time illustrator, part-time graphic designer and spare time cartoonist with pretzels for brains. Her scribbles have been published in Esquire, Omagiu and Regard Romania. While at Synopsismedia.com and itseveryday.ro she collaborated on theatre and gig posters, art albums, comic anthologies, magazines and manuals. Her works were featured in Stripburger, exhibited at Next Comic Festival Linz 2014 and Fumetto Festival Luzern 2015.
Above: Sorina Vazelina at CreativeMornings Bucharest, November 2016. Free events like this one are hosted every month in dozens of cities. Discover hundreds of talks from the world’s creative community at https://creativemornings.com/talks